Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the death of my dad, Kenneth Alexander Walbeck. He was 70 years old. Dad and Mother were on their first cruise in February 1988 and Dad died April 25, 1988. I didn't write yesterday since I spent the day with Mother. We reminisced about the 'good ol' days'.
Dad moved from Marshall to Tekonsha, Michigan during his sophomore year of high school. Mother remembered thinking how funny "Walbeck" was for a last name. Little did she know....
Mother and Dad married in Tekonsha in 1940. Dad had been learning the newspaper business at the Tekonsha Patriot while in high school. After returning from the service, Dad continued his love of the newspaper business in the composing room at the Enquirer and News in Battle Creek, MI. He taught himself to type and loved learning new technology. He would have loved today's technology.
The Union Church was such an important part of our family. Mother was the pianist and choir director and Dad loved, loved, loved singing in the choir, in a quartet, or singing Tom Dooley or The Chipmunk Song while I played the piano.
Dad and Mother were (and Mother still is) very active in the Tekonsha Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. Dad was the Worthy Patron for many years and went on to become a Grand Officer for the Waldo-Beltz family.
After driving back and forth from Tekonsha to Battle Creek for many years, in 1963 we put our house on the market. It sold in one day!!! Talk about Dad's shock when he arrived home from work to find out that he needed to get back in the car day after day to return to Battle Creek to house hunt. Those were long, difficult days!
Life was good on 127 Lois Drive. Dad kept himself busy with various projects around the house. A day couldn't begin without cooking his own oatmeal with brown sugar. Sometime during the day, he would write in his journal. If anyone needed to know the weather, what he ate, what happened, where he went, what he bought, etc., on any given day, Dad could tell you. He kept his journals for 20 years.
Dad loved the hot air balloon festivals that were held in Battle Creek. The balloons would fly over our house and dad was in the driveway every morning during festival week and was at the airport for launchings in the evenings. Of course, he had his camera with him. I still have a little booklet of photos that he took of his favorite balloons.
I miss my dad. He was a good man. I remember after a doctor's appointment and we found out how sick he was. On my first day of my spring break from teaching in 1988, I drove my dad to Ann Arbor to the hospital. He was so sick, I remember thinking that I might be taking him from home for the last time. I was with him for most of the time during the weeks he was there. Paula, Mother and I were with him when he died.
He died too young but he had a great faith in a great God. It was good to remember him as I sat and talked with Mother. I'll see him again someday.